Lakshapana Falls, a natural wonder

Published: 17th September 2010
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The Lakshapana Falls located in the Nuwara Eliya area is among the most beautiful and celebrated waterfalls in Sri Lanka. With a height of 126 meters Lakshapana Falls has the distinction of being the 8th tallest in the island and interestingly the 625th tallest in the world. It is located along the path of the river known as Maskeliya Oya; however the once thunderous roar of the falls has been muted somewhat due to the creation of a major dam in modern times. This does not detract, however, from the pristine beauty of the falls.

The shimmering waters of the Maskeliya Oya must wind along a boulder-strewn path before flowing over a ridge and rushing down a steep precipice. The luxuriant natural vegetation of the area provides a scenic panorama that enthralls the beholder.

Today the falls have provided the name for two major hydroelectricity generation plants, the Laxapana and New Laxapana stations.

Traditionally the falls have been called 'Veddah hiti ella' which translates to 'Falls where the Veddah (one of the indigenous inhabitants of Sri Lanka) lived'. The name used today, Lakshapana, has more than one interpretation. It is sometimes considered to have derived from the Sinhala word 'lakshaya' (hundred thousand) and 'pahana' (stone). On the other hand the name may derive from the Sinhala 'lakshana' (beautiful) - in other words, 'beautiful stone'.

There is a misconception that the Maskeliya Oya's waters originate from the famed spot of Indikatupana. (A legend recalls how the Buddha, on one of his visits to the island, seated himself on the Indikatupana rock to repair his robes. To this day, devotees en route to Sri Pada, also known as Adam's Peak, stop here to symbolically sew some material.) In actual fact the Maskeliya Oya originates from the forests located to the south of the Fairlawn Estate.

To observe Lakshapana Falls, the visitor should travel from the town of Maskeliya towards Norton Bridge; a small lane stretches to Kottalenna, a village in the environs of the waterfall, and from there a steep pathway provides access to the site.

For the traveller seeking Nuwara Eliya hotels there is no better choice than the Jetwing St. Andrew's. This exceptional hotel in Nuwara Eliya provides all the comforts and conveniences the modern traveller will require.

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